Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)
Source: Carloman. c2004
Barrack Street is in an area of Carlow known locally as 'The Top of the Town'. At one end there used to be a Military Barracks (now demolished) and off this street is Little Barrack Street also known as "Gallipot". There is a Retired Persons home on the site now. I have recently been told that there exists a deed which indicates that the site of the barracks in Carlow town was purchased in 1781 on an annual lease of £30 "forever" the site was 3.5 acres.
Barrack Street runs between The Shamrock on the north side of the town to the junction with Burrin Street and Kilkenny Road on the south side.
The following is an article from the Carlow Nationalist newspaper of Christmas Eve 2003.
"Change is inevitable but it's so difficult to imagine what Little Barrack Street was like in the 1940s. Annie Parker-Byrne, who now lives in No. 3, remembers playing Cowboys and Indians in Johnny Power's field with the Conville's, the Fenlon's and the Murphy's. The young children would hide caps in the hedges and have bonfires or "camps" where they'd roast potatoes. Some of the boys would even catch trout in the river and roast them over the campfire.
A row of 15 single-storey cottages, with a cobbled stone pathway running alongside stood outside the high wall of the old British Military Barracks, which later became the Sacred Heart Home (now Crosbie Place). Inside the narrow doorway of each cottage there was a kitchen and a beautiful high ceiling. Apart from the kitchen, the cottages consisted of two bedrooms and a loft. Some families used the loft as a bedroom, even though it was impossible to stand up straight.
Annie is passionate about Little Barrack Street, it is no surprise that she fought to preserve the unique streetscape, of the cobble stone pathway and single-storey cottages. Annie's father, Robert (Bobbie) was reared in No.10 and married Peg Dargan. Bobbie was in the British Army for the Second World War, but he contracted a rare disease of the heart and malaria while abroad.
When Bobbie Parker came home from the army he drove Carpenter's hearse for a few years. Annie remembers the last time he drove the hearse, was when Mrs Carpenter died. Sadly, within six weeks of this, Bobbie died at the tender age of 33.
Annie has many fond memories of her childhood, growing up in Little Barrack Street. She remembers picking blackberries with the other children up the Burrin and going down to "Wattie Kehoe's" in Pembroke to sell them. "We'd sell the blackberries for money and we'd give our parents some of it, which they'd buy food with and we'd always have the price of a comic or the pictures." (pictures = Cinema, PP)
Girls Crystal, The Beano, and The Dandy were some of the comics which Annie enjoyed reading. Perhaps, this is where some of the inspiration for "divilment" among the young children in Little Barrack Street came from. One man who kept a close eye on this behaviour was Guard Kelly (a member of the Irish Police force, PP), who lived in Barrack Street.
We used to play handball against the high wall of the County Home (the former Military Barracks, PP). Guard Kelly, who lived across the road... when we'd see him coming home on the bicycle we used have to run...Annie remembers how they'd encounter Guard Kelly later in the school in Tullow Street (he was also the school attendance officer) and regret their mischief, knowing that they weren't supposed to be playing handball on the road.
"He'd be sitting there with the roll and if people... youngsters were missing from school he'd call them up to know why were they missing. And then maybe he'd say 'you were playing football on the street the other day, don't let me catch you,' or 'you were playing handball'..."
The youngsters found their own way to get back at Guard Kelly, or at least his wife, Mrs Kelly. "We were divils," says Annie. She remembers how they used to tie a thread to the door handle of Guard Kelly's house. "We'd go across under the trees with a spool of thread and rap the door."
But they were always cute and made sure they only played the trick when Guard Kelly wasn't home. They picked out certain people to torment, another was poor old Tommy Finnegan.
The Fairgreen (where the old Military barracks was located and today its the location of the Fairgreen shopping centre, PP), was a "great place" of intrigue for young children in Paupish. The town dump was situated there, and all sorts of oddments, like old bicycle frames could be found there. Annie and her friends learned to ride a bicycle, by assembling one themselves and riding it up and down the road, without even a saddle.
"You could find a frame of a bicycle and two wheels somewhere else, and you could attach the frame and two wheels together with wire... we used to cycle down the street on these."
Source: Carloman. c2004
According to PIGOT and Co.'s Provincial Directory of 1824. - There was Lady Benjamin. who had a Flour Factor in Barrack Street and a Thomas Kirwin who was a Tailor in Barrack St